The program, of course, wasn't just a game - it was intended to teach kids about programming concepts. I know many people look back on it fondly, but I don't believe it was all that exciting for me. I think the new game by Microsoft Research Kodu would have been more my style.
Slate calls Kodu "Logo on Steroids":
Kodu is light years beyond Logo, with modern 3-D graphics, a world players can landscape to their liking, and a cast of characters that isn't limited to the Terrapene genus. But the mission is pretty much the same: to place kids in an open-ended environment and arm them with a simple language that lets them build things. At the risk of blaspheming my youth, I dare say that Kodu is more fun than Logo. It's also a reminder that the mission of games like these is not actually to teach kids how to write code. It's to teach them how to think like programmers.As Microsoft describes it:
The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.The game is available on XBox and PC, and I have to say I'm tempted to give it a try. I've talked about teaching kids to program before in the context of how it might be done with augmented reality. I'd like to see how complex Kudo is, and how effectively it captures the attention of kids while they think they are simply having fun. If you've tried Kudo or any other modern programming game, let me know what you thought of it!
The Kodu language is designed specifically for game development and provides specialized primitives derived from gaming scenarios. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behavior. While not as general-purpose as classical programming languages, Kodu can express advanced game design concepts in a simple, direct, and intuitive manner.